Today the President of the United States, Joe Biden, addressed the Nation in a seemingly very un-presidential manner. It was divisive in calling out a rather sizable portion of the country’s citizens (FOX News Story) as semi-fascists (I’m not sure how you can be a semi (meaning half, partial, incomplete, or somewhat) fascist (a better definition found here)) and terrorists. His words don’t even make sense in that there really is no such thing as a partial fascist and terrorists are generally groups not in political power that tend to disrupt the political system through threats and intimidation. The President also said that these people. (He refers to as MAGA extremists) are dangerous and want to destroy our democracy (which is kind of the definition of a fascist).
This extremely dangerous and dividing rhetoric delivered by a President of the United States to its citizens is unprecedented within my lifetime, and perhaps within the history of our country. And I’m sure it bitterly hurt, angered, confused, and shamed millions of American citizens.
And I’m sure many of those millions of Americans are feeling just a little bit threatened by the President’s words.
But how should a Christian (a follower of Jesus Christ) respond? Obviously, there are many facets to this question and potentially many answers, many of which may very well be correct and/or hold truths within them. But the root of the question I’d like to focus on today is: Can a Christian operate within the political arena? Should a Christian operate within the political arena? Is it OK for a Christian to be political?
A “Christian response” and a “Political response” to an issue of the day/times are often times seen as separate and unrelated. Seemingly due to the separation of Church and State. Which is never what Thomas Jefferson meant when referring to the “wall of separation”. The founding fathers rather, viewed separation of Church and State as protection for the Church from Government, not that the Church could not be involved in Government. History has clearly shown that governments are often tyrannical in their suppression of the Church, whereas the Church is the Sanctuary for worshipping the Creator who granted the creation the inalienable rights acknowledged by the founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.“National Archives: Declaration of Independence
Clearly the founding fathers saw the involvement of the Church in Politics as not only acceptable practice but indeed necessary and important. Having fled to America in order to escape religious persecution and in order to seek freedom of worship as each saw fit, it was imperative that the Church be involved in Politics lest a tyrannical government once again arise and begin to dictate how the Church should perform and conduct its business.
But what does the Bible say about the involvement of God’s people in politics? Allow me two examples here. The first, from the Old Testament is found in Daniel Chapter 3. In verses 1-7 we see a tyrant, King Nebuchadnezzar, make an idol unto himself and command the people to bow down and worship it or else face death by being cast into a fiery furnace. But in verses 8-18 we see three young Jewish men who defied the government, and indeed, when brought before the King, steadfastly stood their ground despite the consequences they faced. Clearly choosing the Church over Government. And the second example is found in the New Testament in the book of Matthew Chapter 23. Here we see Jesus Christ Himself rebuke the religious leaders of the day (those seen as governing authorities) several times calling them blind fools and hypocrites and saying they and their households would experience woe. In fact, in most of Scripture we see interactions of the Church or Religion with the governments of the day.
So, on this occasion I, in the fashion of the founding fathers of this Nation and Biblical patriarchs, say to President Joe Biden: It is you Sir, who are the fascist with your hateful and disrespectful rhetoric about “MAGA (Make America Great Again) Republican Extremists”. You don’t see a difference in America today and America as founded because you only desire an America made in your image. It is you Sir, who do not uphold the Constitution of the United States of America when your border policies allow millions of illegal aliens to stream across our southern border placing an enormous burden on our society and endangering our citizens and way of life. Even God Almighty himself warned Israel to guard their borders and to keep themselves pure. A commandment the Nation of Israel honors even to this day. It is you Sir, who disrespect a Holy and Almighty God when you champion the slaughter and dismemberment of millions of unborn children, creations in the image of God Himself, all because you worship at the child sacrifice alter of Satan. And then you disrespect the Church by traveling to Rome and accept a Holy Communion from the Pope himself. And it is you Sir, who are a fascist when your actions hurt the energy industry in this country and the production of fossil fuel energy. Simply because you demand how business should be conducted rather than allow a free people to exercise a free market and chose for themselves. You, Sir, are the one not engaging in an open dialogue, not MAGA Republicans.
And I will not bow down. Even if it means being thrown into the fiery furnace.